The Horseman (The West Country Trilogy) (英語) ペーパーバック – 2017/1/12
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From the prize-winning author of In the Place of Fallen Leaves comes a beautiful, hypnotic pastoral novel reminiscent of Thomas Hardy, about an unexpected friendship between two children, set in Devon in 1911 1911. In a forgotten valley, on the Devon-Somerset border, the seasons unfold, marked only by the rituals of the farming calendar. Twelve-year-old Leopold Sercombe skips school to help his father, a carter. Skinny and pale, with eyes as dark as sloes, Leo dreams of a job on the Master's stud farm. As ploughs furrow the hard January fields, the Master's daughter, young Miss Charlotte, shocks the estate's tenants by wielding a gun at the annual shoot. Spring comes, Leo watches swallows build their nests, hedgerows thrum with life and days lengthen into summer. Leo is breaking a colt for his father when a boy dressed in a Homburg, breeches and riding boots appears. Peering under the stranger's hat, he discovers Charlotte.And so a friendship begins, bound by a deep love of horses, but divided by rigid social boundaries - boundaries that become increasingly difficult to navigate as they approach adolescence... Hallucinatory, beautiful and suffused with the magic of nature, this tale of an unlikely friendship and the loss of innocence builds with a hypnotic power. Evoking the realities of agricultural life with precise, poetic brushstrokes, Tim Pears has created a masterful, Hardyesque pastoral novel. The first in a dazzling new trilogy, The Horseman is his greatest achievement.
A novel that is as moving and profound as it is evocative of the landscape and period ... Pears's fiction has been likened to Thomas Hardy's, and the comparison is apposite. As a coming-of-age novel, The Horseman is wise and insightful. As a love story, it is moving and sincere. And as a portrayal of rural Edwardian England, it is powerful, vivid and humane * Observer * Pears has often been praised for his strong, clear prose and his ability to tell fascinating stories without fuss or fanfare. The Horseman is his best work in many years. As a testament to a forgotten generation of countrymen it is unsurpassed * The Times * The pleasure of it lies in taking in the language and the setting - the West country, in 1911 and 1912 - and in reading it like a long poem, with each chapter a stanza ... The natural world is sometimes antagonistic, sometimes beautiful, but always alive with detail ... I am ready for volume two -- Jane Smiley * Guardian * With hypnotic lyricism, Pears describes this bucolic Devon world and the people who inhabit it ... [A] paean to the pastoral * Mail on Sunday * A mesmerising book ... An evocation of the pre-First World War countryside, sparely written and imagined with exceptional fidelity -- Clive Aslet * Country Life * This book needs to be read with quiet attention to reap its rich rewards -- John Harding * Daily Mail * An assured, slow-burn, lyrical book, a rewarding read in our troubled times. Once again Pears celebrates growing up, the trials of family life and the beauty and wildness of untamed nature, offering fascinating insights into the consolations as well as the cruelties of rural life -- Jackie McGlone * Herald * A beautiful portrait of rural life at the turn of the century ... Tim Pears combines meticulously researched historical material ... all depicted in rich, evocative detail - with lush, languorous, melodic prose ... A distinctly compelling pastoral bildungsroman that leaves the reader eager for the next installment * BBC Countryfile * Evocative of Hardy ... The Horseman is itself an exhilarating vision, a bittersweet elegy for the innocent certainties of an agrarian world before the industrialised horrors of the 20th century come crashing down * Irish Times * A magnificent novel. In spare yet elegant precise prose Tim Pears offers entrance into a place and characters otherwise lost to time ... Leo Sercombe is one of the most engaging creations to come along in fiction in a long time and I eagerly look forward to following his life in future tellings. Tim Pears is a novelist of the first rank and I can't recommend The Horseman more highly -- Jeffrey Lent Neatly crafted, and compelling * Spectator *商品の説明をすべて表示する
While it sounds like a contradiction, at times I wanted to stop reading the book and go on to another. Somehow I continued reading, and now I await to enjoy the next book in the promised trilogy.
However, the entire effect was undone by the rush in the last 15 pages to an ending plot twist whose sole purpose is to set up the sequel. I felt cheated by the disjuncture of this arbitrary device - the clumsy finish of this 95% wonderful book left a bad taste in my mouth.